BEND, OR -- On the sidewalk in front of the Courthouse, directly across Greenwood Avenue from Representative Greg Walden's Bend office, Central Oregon Strong Voice rallied against healthcare cuts, immigration regulation, and the Trump agenda and for the reinstatement of DACA and Obamacare.
Walden's lack of support for Planned Parenthood and efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare were addressed by guest speakers and the text and graphics of much of the handmade signage.
Connie Peterson, a local resident, said she joined today's protest because she sees America changing in a negative way and wants to do her part. "Because this current administration affronts every value that I hold dear. Everything I believe in is under affront right now. I can't stay home and be silent anymore."
Nancy Alvarez, one of the two dozen, said she raised her voice in solidarity because she had strong opinions she couldn't keep to herself any longer. "I think Trump's a racist. He's the worst President in my lifetime and he's ignorant. It's his opinion is what counts, whether it's based on fact or not, and usually, it isn't. I'm really upset about what is happening, what he's doing to this country."
Local man Wonono Rubio said he's always been a Democtat, and that's why he joined the protest ... to express his opposition to current policiies and politicians. "I oppose the Republican agenda almost completely. I definitely think Trump needs to be impeached. And I just think we're involved in endless war, our taxes are going to the rich, pipeline of school to prison, all those reasons our country is totally on the wrong track, and we just need some radical change."
Rubio says he believes protests like Fridays may be the only way for progressives to get their message out in the current climate.
Guest speakers included Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie, and representatives from the AFLCIO, Planned Parenthood, and the Democratic Party.